Gentle Giant

My father comes from a family of giants. At 6'7" he is shorter than his brothers and his father, or was shorter than his father until Grampie became slightly stooped.

I don't even know where to start about Grampie.

He was alive for the end of the depression. I can't tell you how many times I hear, "take all you want but eat all you take" when I was a child. And in that family taking all you want meant a lot of food was put away.

Grampie joined the Army during World War II, and had to fight to join. Initially they said he couldn't join because he was too tall. His mother had to make his uniform, he had a cot specially made so it was long enough. It's hard to imagine that attitude in this day and age.

And the only reason he survived the war was because he got sick. He was in the hospital when his platoon was ambushed.

Surprisingly enough Grampie was a basketball player. He won a state championship in high school and was recruited to play at the University of Oregon. Grampie was actually good enough that he was drafted, but he turned down an offer from an NBA team to go into teaching. It was more stable and he could make more money. Can you imagine LeBron James trying to decide between teaching and the NBA?!

My Grampie, although I share him with eight other grandchildren, is also one of the most giving people I know. Every time I talk to him on the phone he ends the conversation by asking if there is anything he can do for me. I know that if I ever had a real need for something, he would meet it.

So, why the walk down memory lane. Because he is old and getting older by the minute it seems like. Life happens that way...and he has definitely lived a good and full life. I'm just hoping it lasts quite a while longer.

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